Course Offerings | Neuroscience | Thiel College
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Dr. Butcher with students

NSCI 101: Brain and Behavior
4 CH   /  Offered Every Fall   /  Lab Fee

This course is designed for non-science majors, psychology majors and neuroscience majors as an introduction to the study of the brain and human behavior. In this class, the basic principles of science, biology and neuroscience will be covered. Specific topics include biological molecules, cells and membranes, evolution, anatomy and physiology of the brain and nervous system, drugs, hormones and sex, sleep, emotions, learning, memory and neurological diseases. The laboratory portion of this course will focus on the principles of experimental design, data analysis and will help to reinforce the concepts covered in lecture.

NSCI 202: Introduction to Neuroscience
4 CH   /  Offered Every Spring   /  Lab Fee

This course will introduce students to fundamental concepts within the vast field of neuroscience. The major structures of the nervous system, means of cellular communication, senses and motor systems will be covered. Specific topics include neuron structure and function, neuroanatomy and physiology, major neurotransmitter systems of the brain, the visual system, hearing and balance, taste, smell, sensations of the skin, types of movements and motor pathways. The way that these systems work together to generate behaviors such as language will also be covered. The laboratory portion of this course will survey common techniques used in neuroscience and molecular biology and will also reinforce the concepts covered in lecture. Students in this class will have the opportunity to present work in a variety of formats, including a poster presentation. (P: NSCI 101, BIO 145 or consent of the instructor)

NSCI 303: Techniques in Neuroscience
4 CH

This is a techniques based laboratory course that will introduce students to a variety of common tools and skills used in neuroscience. The principles of experimental design, data collection and data analysis will be heavily emphasized. Specific techniques to be covered include basic principles of neuroscience research, animal handling, animal behavioral testing, animal surgery, tissue preservation, dissection and molecular analysis. Students in this course will also write an original research proposal in the style of a scientific grant that they will present and defend. (P: NSCI 202 or consent of instructor)

NSCI 313: Junior Seminar in Neuroscience
2 CH   /  Offered Every Spring

In this seminar class, junior students will develop and refine skills necessary for success in the field of neuroscience. Emphasis will be placed on investigating career paths, developing a resume or curriculum vitae (CV), reading primary research articles and basic presentation skills. (P: junior standing or permission of instructor)

NSCI 320: Neuropharmacology
3 CH

This course explores the pharmacology of the brain and central nervous system. The way in which drugs induce changes to cells of the nervous system, mood, thinking and behavior are major themes in this course. The biochemistry of major neurotransmitter systems and the history and mechanism of action of common drugs will also be covered. Topics include basic principles of pharmacology, cell signaling pathways, methods in pharmacology, catecholamines, serotonin, acetylcholine, GABA/glutamate, drug addiction, opioids, psychomotor stimulants, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, cannabinoids, hallucinogens, inhalants and drugs for treating affective disorders like anxiety and depression. (P: NSCI 202, BIO 145 or permission of instructor)

NSCI 330: Neuroanatomy
3 CH

This class will explore the functional anatomy of the human nervous system. The major neural systems of the brain and spinal cord will be discussed. Topics to be covered include neurocytology and simple circuits, techniques in neuroanatomy, neuroembryology, gross anatomy of the spinal cord, brainstem and higher brain regions, support and circulation in the brain, sensory/motor systems and pathways, basal ganglia, cerebellum, autonomic nervous system, hypothalamus, hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Based on an understanding of normal neural connections and brain function, the anatomical and physiological basis of various neurological disorders of the nervous system will be explored. (P: NSCI 202, BIO 145 or permission of instructor)

NSCI 340: Neuroendocrinology
3 CH

This course is intended to provide students with an understanding of the hormones used by the human body to grow, reproduce and maintain blood homeostasis. The mechanisms that the nervous system uses to communicate with the endocrine system and all of the major endocrine structures will be covered. Topics include cell signaling pathways used by hormones, hypothalamus, pituitary gland, testes, ovaries, puberty, pregnancy/childbirth, adrenal glands, water/salt balance, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands and pancreas. The pathophysiology of major endocrine disorders such as diabetes will also be covered. (P: NSCI 202, BIO 145 or permission of instructor)

NSCI 350: Neuroscience Diseases and Disorders
3 CH

This course will investigate various neurological conditions from a variety of levels including molecular, anatomical, genetic and societal. Clinical neuroanatomy, symptoms and common treatments of conditions will be covered. Specific conditions to be covered could include vascular conditions, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy and affective disorders. Analysis of case studies will be an important aspect of the course. Additionally, attention will be given to how values, ideals and beliefs contribute to an individual’s choice to pursue (or not pursue) various treatments and therapies. (P: NSCI 202, BIO 145 or permission of instructor)

NSCI 390: Special Topics in Neuroscience
3-4 CH

This course will cover a special topic in the field of neuroscience. This course may be repeated when different special topics courses are offered. (P: NSCI 202, BIO 145 or permission of instructor)

NSCI 404: Advanced Neuroscience
3 CH

This advanced level course will build on topics covered in NSCI 101 and 202. The nervous system will be studied in depth at the molecular, genetic, cellular and systems level. Specific topics could include advanced neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, the senses, motor systems, neural basis of behaviors and evolution of the nervous system. (P: NSCI 202 or permission of instructor)

NSCI 414: Senior Seminar in Neuroscience
2 CH   /  Offered Every Spring

In this seminar class, senior students will develop and refine skills necessary for success in the field of neuroscience. Emphasis will be placed on leading journal club discussions of primary research articles and giving extened oral presentations on topics of interest in neuroscience. (P: senior standing or permission of instructor)

NSCI 489: Internship in Neuroscience
1-3 CH

Students enrolled in this course will gain practical experience in the field related to a possible career. Possibile internship opportunities can be found by working with the career and development center or students can seek out particular internships on their own. Students will keep a weekly log book documenting their duties and what they learned. A final reflective paper where the student describes their overall experience will also be required. A minimum of 40 hours of supervised experience per credit hour is required.

NSCI 499: Independent Research in Neuroscience
1-3 CH   /  Lab Fee

Students enrolled in this course will design and conduct a research project in an area of neuroscience. The research project could include library, wet laboratory work or field research conducted based on a student's schedule. A minimum of three hours of work per week per credit hour is required. At the conclusion of the project, a written report in the format of a scientific publication will be required. Projects are done under the guidance of one faculty member, may be conducted over multiple semesters and with multiple students. (P: NSCI 202 and permission of instructor)